I. The Institutional Campus Ministry Office. 


An Overview


When Fr. Silvestre Jofre, O.S.B. celebrated the opening Mass of Colegio de San Beda in June 1901, he said, “The College of San Beda comes to the arena with the sole purpose of helping to defend the Catholic battlements in the field of education…” That was the year when the Roman Catholic Church was still facing problems on how to “combat” crisis of the faith brought about by effects of the Reformation.


Now, the “battleground” remains basically the same. Questions about the ways of the Church are still there, so are questions about doctrines. But there is a more pressing crisis of the faith today which subtly seeps into the life of society, destroying families and distorting the role of persons in the community. This is the gnawing emptiness in the person, leading him anywhere but actually nowhere. The Bedan is not immune to this. The reasons for this emptiness are deep seated that we wonder where it is really coming from.


Now, the “battleground” remains basically the same. Questions about the ways of the Church are still there, so are questions about doctrines. But there is a more pressing crisis of the faith today which subtly seeps into the life of society, destroying families and distorting the role of persons in the community. This is the gnawing emptiness in the person, leading him anywhere but actually nowhere. The Bedan is not immune to this. The reasons for this emptiness are deep seated that we wonder where it is really coming from.



II. HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTIONAL CAMPUS MINISTRY OFFICE


References:


The Benedictine Monks’ ministry to the students started when the school was established in 1901. For a long time, there was no office for campus ministry work. The monks simply did their priestly ministry whenever they could as this was deeply ingrained in their vocation as shepherds of the Church.


In 1963, the Cursillo Movement was introduced in the Philippines by the Americans. Fr. BelarmineBaltazar, O.S.B. was actively involved in the organization in the early 1970’s through the Adjutores Dei of the Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna. With the help of Mr. Fred Uy, who was then in charge of the Adjutores Dei in Laguna, three groups of high school Bedan students joined the Cursillo For The Youth in 1974. Like the original goal of the founders of the Cursillo Movement when it began in Spain in 1944, Fr. Belarmine simply wanted the young Bedan to deepen his faith experience and sustain it through regular faith sharing encounters through the Reunions.


Father Andres Formilleza, OSB, who was then chaplain of the High School Department in 1975, joined in the program. He later became Abbot of the Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat in 1989. He remained actively involved especially through administering of the Sacrament of Reconciliation during his later years until his death in 2012.


Fr Eduardo Africa, OSB, who became Abbot in 1980, also joined in the program. He was the chaplain of the College of Arts and Sciences at that time. These three priest monks became pioneers of the Peace Retreat Program which was designed to adapt to the needs of the growing Bedan community, maintaining to some extent the same structure of the Cursillo for the Young.


The 1975 graduating students of the College of Arts and Science (CAS) was the first batch who underwent the new retreat program. Since then, all graduating students of the CAS and the high school department underwent the same. The name “Peace Retreat Program” was suggested by Manuel Concepcion, a senior CAS student in 1975. It was taken from the Benedictine motto “PAX”, a Latin word which means peace. Hence, the name gave the new retreat program a true Bedan character. Fr. Bellarmine and Fr. Andres continued the program as Fr. Eduardo left for further studies. By then, the program was introduced to first year CAS students.


Since the start of the Peace Retreat in 1975 until 2010, the theme song has always been “Somewhere,” taken from the well-known Broadway musical “The Westside Story”. This song reflects a person’s yearning for a better life and a better goal which is basically true of each person’s search for something greater sometime, somewhere. It also speaks of a dream of being truly united to (a) person(s) or a cause that can fill a gnawing emptiness that seems to suck our sense of direction and purpose that may leave us restless and unfulfilled. St. Benedict of Nursia may have gone through a similar restless and seemingly pointless experience. In his milieu, he dared to remove himself from society and live alone. Initially, he must have been in search of himself but eventually, he did not just find himself, but he also found God, and inevitable, found peace. This is the essence of the Peace Retreat: to better understand oneself, re-encounter God and find peace within.


The Peace Retreat continues to change as it adapts to an ever changing community: from Spiritual Directors, facilitators, to its facilities such as venues and needed technologies, and also activities. One of the major developments of the Peace Retreat is the offering of the program to San Beda University’s sister school, the Benedictine Abbey School (St. Benedict’s College, 1983) now, San Beda College, Alabang. The arrangement then was the female students were facilitated as a separate batch after the retreat of the male students.


In 1983, the late Rev. Odilardo Ma. J. Arceo, OSB handled the Peace Retreat for the college students until 1986. After his term, Fr. Basil Apostol took over the position of Fr. Formilleza and Fr. Baltazar as the Spiritual Director. In 1988, Fr. Jose de Jesus handled the position. There was a time that Fr. Jose simultaneously facilitated the retreat programs of San Beda University, Manila and St. Benedict’s College, Alabang. During his time the Peace Retreat program was extended to the College of Law of San Beda University. At that time, the venue of the Peace Retreat was at Pope John XXIII Formation Center in Antipolo City.


Gradually, volunteer students, later called as Auxiliaries, took an active participation in the facilitation of the retreat. Ministries were formed which took charge of preparing and serving the students at the kitchen and dining area, dorms, and conference halls. Music Ministry and Sunday Prep groups were also formed. There were times when as many as twenty five volunteer students would serve during the weekend retreat


In 1992, the Auxiliaries of SBC, Manila helped train student volunteers from St. Benedict’s College, Alabang who were also later called as Auxiliaries. A few years later, Auxiliaries from Alabang separated from those of Manila as they gradually formed their own identity distinct from that of San Beda University, Manila. Students who had their Peace Retreat from either campus are exempted from paying and attending the same program when they have to transfer to the other San Beda University campus.


In 1993, Fr. Jose left the Peace Retreat Movement. The auxiliaries sought the help of Fr. Abbot Formilleza, who then appointed Fr. Angelo Legal to take the place of Fr. Jose. The former became the Spiritual Director of the Peace Retreat Movement from 1993-1994.


In 1994, Fr. Anthony Ma. Mendoza, OSB, became the Spiritual Director until the year 2001. Under his term, the auxiliaries served not only during the Peace Retreat but extended their help to other spiritual activities of the whole college like recollections and retreats of faculty and service personnel. One great event was the Institutional Celebration of the Great Jubilee year in 2000 wherein the auxiliaries helped in the overnight event participated by the whole college. The notion of a hierarchy in position, adapted from the Rule of Benedict regarding the monk’s entrance to the monastery was adapted in the formation of the volunteers.


In 2001, Fr. Anthony was assigned as the principal of the Grade School Department. Prior to his leaving, he left the complete list of attendance and other documents and reference materials in the Campus Ministry Office.


Fr. Benedict Fabia, OSB was appointed as the next successor. During Fr. Benedict’s time, the Peace Retreat Program was introduced to the newly-formed colleges, the College of Medicine (AY 2002-03) and the College of Nursing (AY 2003-04). The venues of the retreats were at St. Cecilia’s Shrine at Villa Manaoag, Pandi, Bulacan (for High School, CAS, and CON departments) and St. Michael’s Retreat House, Antipolo City (for the COL and COM departments). It was also at that time that San Beda University adapted the co-educational system.


In 2004, Dom Maximillian Mapilisan, OSB was appointed as the Campus Minister and Spiritual Director of the Peace Retreat Movement since Fr. Benedict was assigned as the Finance director of San Beda University – Manila and San Beda College Alabang. Because of the need to finish his graduate studies, Dom Maximilian had to leave his post.


From 2005 to 2007, Bro. Mar Anthony Tayag served as the Campus Minister and Spiritual Director of the Peace Retreat Movement. Knowing well the intricacies of the retreat, and having served the past three spiritual directors, Kuya Mar, as he was fondly called, concentrated on the growing number of student volunteers who served as resident auxiliaries and apprentices in the Peace Retreat Movement. The student volunteers were needed to facilitate fully well the Peace Retreat as well as assist in the in-campus recollections. Without the auxiliaries, it would have been very difficult to come up with a well-run and developed program during that time.


With the ever-changing administration of the Campus Ministry Office, the office itself was transferred from one building to another until eventually, most of the documents and reference materials preserved during the time of Fr. Anthony got lost.


When Bro. Mar Anthony Tayag left San Beda University in 2007, Dom Maximilian was reinstated in the Office and served as Assistant Coordinator while Dom Dunstan Ma. B. Candol, OSB, served as Coordinator. Together, they served as Spiritual Directors and Campus Ministers for Academic Years 2007 – 2010.


Two Lay Campus Ministers and a secretary were hired during the Academic Year 2008 – 2009. The work on organizing data and documenting the program and activities of the Campus Ministry Office resumed. By 2010, the role and function of the Auxiliaries was modified. Hierarchy of position was discouraged as unchecked practices tended to be abused. The number of volunteers that would serve the weekend program was controlled because the retreat house in Antipolo already provided janitors, cooks and servers for their guests.


Change of administrative assignments for S.Y. 2010 – 2011 brought Dom Dunstan to San Beda College, Alabang, as Dom Maximilian took the place as Coordinator for the Campus Ministry of San Beda University, Mendiola. During this time, a new set of student volunteers gradually emerged. They were no longer identified as “Auxies” but as CMO Student Volunteers. These volunteers were often reminded to make their studies their priority, not the weekend program.


In November 2010, the retreat venue was moved to the newly constructed Benedictine retreat house in No. 92 Real St., Barangay Mataas na Burol, Silang, Cavite. Up to the present, this remains as the venue for almost all retreats and recollections under the Campus Ministry Office of San Beda University, Manila and San Beda College Alabang. This house is called Montserrat Center for Religious Formation.


During the Academic Year 2011 – 2012, the Campus Ministry Office was given the task of facilitating recollections and retreats of San Beda University, Taytay, Rizal. Co-facilitating these activities were the class advisers and the guidance counselors, in coordination with the Coordinator of the Christian Life Department. The Grade or Year Level Recollection Themes were formulated in line with the themes of the Guidance Department, giving a psycho-spiritual approach to the program.


Dom Maxi’s next assignment was at San Beda College, Alabang. This was Academic Year 2012 – 2013. Fr. Aelred Nilo, O.S.B. was appointed as Chaplain of the Basic Education Department of San Beda University, Taytay, Rizal. The Campus Ministry Office of the Mendiola campus coordinated with him regarding recollections and retreats of the B.E.D. students from Grade 6 to Year IV.


Fr. Paul de Vera, O.S.B., out of his love and dedication to the San Beda pupils of Taytay, Rizal, volunteered to assist in the ministering of the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, which he still does up to the writing of this narrative history.


Fr. Rembert Tumbali, O.S.B., from A.Y. 2013 up to the present, serves as Coordinator of the Campus Ministry Office of the Manila and Rizal campuses. He also served as Services Officer from 2013 to 2014 and later as Finance Director up to the present.


There were a lot of developments since Dom Rembert Tumbali, OSB. took over the Coordinatorship of this office.

  • The general make-over of the Campus Ministry Office
  • The invitation of high caliber speakers to the overnight Senior recollections
  • Unifying the then separated Mother and Father talk during the Peace Retreat, making this as one talk from a married couple
  • Incorporating a talk on Benedictine Identity and Mission, touching on the Ten Benedictine Hallmarks, and
  • Having monks as speakers for the In-House recollections


It is also during these years of Dom Rembert’s term of office that the programs and modules were revisited, evaluated, edited and modified to fit in the new program of the whole institution regarding the integration of the Ten Hallmarks of Benedictine Education which are the

  • LOVE of Christ and neighbor
  • PRAYER: a life marked by liturgy, lectio and mindfulness
  • STABILITY: Commitment to the daily life of this place, its heritage and tradition
  • CONVERSATIO: The way of formation and transformation
  • OBEDIENCE: A commitment to listening and consequent action
  • DISCIPLINE: A way toward learning and freedom
  • HUMILITY: Knowledge of self in relation to God, others and creation
  • STEWARDSHIP: Responsible use of creation, culture and arts
  • HOSPITALITY: Openness to the other
  • COMMUNITY: Call to serve the common good


With the growing number of students and the expanding tasks of the Campus Ministry Office, there was a need to hire another campus minister and an assistant secretary. This came to be on Academic Year 2012 – 2013. The newly hired took charge of the in-campus recollections while the other two lay campus ministers took charge of the recollections and retreats at Montserrat Center for Religious Formation, Silang, Cavite. Assignments were later shuffled to orient all those working in the Campus Ministry Office to all its tasks


Upon invitation, and with the approval of the Coordinator, the Campus Ministers facilitated recollections from other schools such as St. Mark’s School of Cavite, NAMEI of Mandaluyong, St. Jude College of Cavite, V. Mapa School, Legarda, Manila and St. Scholastica’s College, Westgrove, Laguna.


On its 40th year since Fr. Belarmine thought about strengthening the essential relationships of the graduating Bedan students, Sr. Jerome Perlas, O.S.B., the first Benedictine sister employed in San Beda University, Manila, was added to the working team. She was later joined by Sr. Florence Lañas, O.S.B. When Sr. Jerome and Sr. Florence had to leave for new assignments, Sr. Gladys Laurente, O.S.B t. joined in he force


It was only on the A.Y. 2015-2016 when the Campus Ministry Office was officially called as the Institutional Campus Ministry Office


It was only on the A.Y. 2015-2016 when the Campus Ministry Office was officially called as the Institutional Campus Ministry Office



III. Vision-Mission of the Institutional Campus Ministry Office


Vision


The Institutional Campus Ministry Office envisions a San Beda community of students and personnel who are fully aware of their San Beda and Benedictine identity, giving life to the humanitarian Benedictine Hallmarks of love, prayer, stability, conversatio, obedience, discipline, humility, stewardship, hospitality and community.


Mission


The Institutional Campus Ministry Office aims to provide a Christian Formation that is distinctly Benedictine, giving expression to a psycho-spiritual approach in its formation.



IV. Nature of the Program


The Recollection and Retreat Program of the Institutional Campus Ministry Office is psycho-spiritual in its approach. It is non-proselytizing and is an integral part of the curriculum given to the San Beda University student for each academic level. This is a requirement for all students.



V. Participants


The Campus Ministry Office facilitates the recollections of I.B.E.D. students from Grade 6 to Grade 12, as well as all college students and non-teaching personnel.


College Students are to attend their recollection or retreat only once per year level. Their year level is based on the year level recognized by the Registrar’s Office, printed on their validated I.D.


A Bedan is allowed to participate the Peace Retreat only once. Transferees from San Beda College, Alabang who had their Peace Retreat are requested to secure a Certificate of Attendance from the Catholic Benedictine Formation Office (CBFO), San Beda College, Alabang and present this to the Campus Ministry Office (CMO) of SBU, Mendiola


Likewise, transferees from SBU Mendiola or Taytay who had attended their Peace Retreat are to secure a Certificate of Attendance from CMO, SBU, Manila and present this to CBFO, SBC, Alabang. This is to exempt the Bedan tansferee from paying the Peace Retreat fee upon enrolment during their first year in another campus of San Beda University.

 

 

Administrators

Fr. Aloysius Ma. A. Maranan, OSB

REV. FR. ALOYSIUS MA. A MARANAN, OSB

Head

FR. BEDE S. HECHANOVA, OSB

FR. BEDE S. HECHANOVA, OSB

Coordinator

SR. GALDYS LAURENTE, OSB

SR. GALDYS LAURENTE, OSB

Campus Minister

MS. NELIA BARJA

MS. NELIA BARJA

Campus Minister

MS. ERLISA CASTILLO

MS. ERLISA CASTILLO

Campus Minister

MRS. SALLY TACORDA

MRS. SALLY TACORDA

Campus Minister

MR. ERIC JOHN RELLORA

MR. ERIC JOHN RELLORA

Campus Minister

Fr. Aloysius Ma. A. Maranan, OSB

MS. JINKY ALDEA

Clerk




Institutional Campus Ministry Office

Mendiola St. San Miguel, Manila

Tel No: 735-6011 Loc. 6111

Mobile No.: 09173019032


Institutional Campus Ministry Office

San Beda University

Rizal Campus

Mobile No.: 09173019028